The BC River Forecast Center has issued a flood guard for the province’s south coast, and a regional district in the interior has issued an evacuation alarm for several properties as the first of three consecutive atmospheric rivers hits the province.
Flood monitoring applies to most of the lower mainland, including some areas still dealing with floods and landslides from the last major storm that hit the province.
A flood warning was already in place for the Sumas River and Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford. Flood monitoring applies to surrounding areas of the Fraser Valley, the North Shore Mountains, Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky region, including areas around Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.
“Rivers are expected to see rises on Thursday in response to the first rainfall event, with the potential for the highest currents (2-year to 5-year) expected around the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound and the North Shore corridor,” the forecast center said in a statement.
The center said the current storm is expected to be “typically on the order of magnitude” for storm surges in the Fraser Valley, but it could still hamper ongoing flooding efforts in the area.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun told reporters that the town is “as clear as it can be” to the series of three atmospheric rivers approaching BC.
“The second system arriving over the weekend is likely to be more problematic,” the river’s forecast center said. “It is currently expected to have higher rainfall, warmer conditions, resulting in further snowmelt and will occur immediately after the current storm system. There is potential for currents to reach 10-year to 50-year levels (or higher) – probably at Sunday or Monday. “
Meanwhile, the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for several properties along the Similkameen River southeast of Princeton, BC
The affected addresses include:
- 407 highway 3
- 561, 563, 556 and 520 Stevenson Creek Rd.
- 298, 426 and 438 Old Copper Mountain Rd.
- 586 and 588 East Similkameen Rd.
The full list of affected plots can be found on the district website.
Several properties in the town of Princeton are also remaining in evacuation preparedness. The city was one of the hardest hit during last week’s storm. A survivor returning to investigate the damage over the weekend told The Canadian Press it looked like a tsunami had hit his home.